By Brian Turk
By Drew AIles
By Taylor Boylston
By Bree Davies
By Emerald O'Brien
By Gina Tron
By Jon Solomon
It would be really strange for a guy to spend a lot of money and time overhauling the 18,000-square-foot club at 2301 Blake Street that was once Polly Esther's — only to give up a few days before the new club's grand opening. So it raised a few eyebrows — mine included — when a January 7 MySpace bulletin came from Club 303 with this message: "It is with sadness we have to inform you of the demise of Club 303. Through all fault of our own, business has taken a drastic turn for the worse (sic). We will be closing our doors permanently..."
Turns out, the club didn't close. That MySpace bulletin was the work of 303's recently fired marketing director, who apparently had an ax to grind with the club's owner, Jay Dureja. And he's not feeling very pleased with her: Dureja says she didn't do what she was supposed to do, lied about a lot of things, and even took off with his laptop. Since that message went out, he's filed a complaint with the police, deleted the MySpace account and gotten other folks to handle Club 303's marketing duties.
The last weekend in December, I went to the newly opened club with my friend Lori, who'd spent a lot of time in the space in the '80s and early '90s, when it was 23 Parrish and the Garage. I was living in California back then, but over the holidays I'd sometimes come to those clubs, and caught Jesus Jones and An Emotional Fish at the Garage. But Lori was lucky enough see Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, Blondie and a ton of other cool-ass bands there.
Dureja's done a noble job renovating the spot and scrubbing away any remnants of Polly Esther's. The area that was once the Garage is being made into a Club 303 VIP room; he's also installed bottle-service booths downstairs, where DJs will spin and choreographed go-go dancers will do their thing. The main level has more of a slick, sports-bar feel, with pool tables and flat-screen TVs hanging above the bar in the center of the room. Dureja plans to bring in country bands at least one night a week; eventually, he hopes to have live music Thursdays through Saturdays. And the club just launched its weekly Sunday School service-industry nights, complete with a schoolgirl-costume contest, shot specials and giveaways.
Despite the MySpace sabotage attempt, Club 303 did throw its official grand-opening bash on January 10, with supermodel Joanna Krupa. And on Saturday, January 17, the club will throw a VIP media launch party with local bands Lost Point, the Epilogues, and JD Feighner and the Mellow Ride upstairs, while Onch, the ladyboy from MTV's Paris Hilton's My New BFF, will host a fashion show with some of the city's top models downstairs.
Club scout: Also on Saturday, January 17, DJ Kasia Star will throw a launch party for the first annual Denver Female DJ Calendar at Wish (511 West Colfax Avenue). The calendar includes photos of DJs mLe, Ms. Vicious, Kasia Star, Luna, Jamie Kent, Lexi Fey, Rena D, Mear, Cyren, Soleil, Om and Elektra, some of whom will also be spinning. That same night, Lipgloss DJs Michael Trundle and Tyler Jacobson will host the Lip Service party at Great Divide Brewing Company (2201 Arapahoe Street) from 9 p.m. to midnight; $5 gets you in.
On Wednesday, January 21, Concerts for Kids will host its fourth annual Country Showcase fundraiser at the Cowboy Lounge (1941 Market Street) with the Demented Divas, DJ Jesus of the KOOL 105 morning show, and a celebrity bull-riding contest.